Monthly Archives: December 2013

NYC Raises Tobacco Purchase Age: Will Others Follow?

Guest Blogger – Julia Velonjara, Youth Program Coordinator, California Youth Advocacy Network

The Big Apple is making a big change and we get to the core of the issue! Mayor Bloomberg recently signed legislation raising the minimum tobacco purchasing age (MTPA) to 21. First let’s look at the history of this type of policy. New York City is the largest jurisdiction to increase the MTPA from the federal standard of 18. In 2005, Needham, MA was first to change local laws to age 21. Additionally, four states and a number of other jurisdictions have a MTPA of 19. The Food and Drug Administration is currently prohibited by the 2009 FDA Act from increasing the MTPA above 18 federally, hence this piecemeal approach. The outpouring of publicity around New York City’s law brings this issue into the spotlight. Other recent developments include Hawai’i County Council unanimously voting for a MTPA of 21 and Utah taking up the issue in the next legislative session. Now that we know what’s going on around the country with this issue, let’s explore the pros and cons of the issue. Read More »